Title: Vengeance is Mine
Author: Harry James Krebs
Published: January 30th, 2014
Publisher: Peak City Publishing
Word Count: 96,000
Content Warning: Profanity, Aftermath Violence
Recommended Age: 16+
Synopsis: Driven by a traumatic, violent event in his teenage years, Benjamin Tucker, bestselling true crime author, is obsessed with helping authorities solve savage crimes near his home turf of Holly Springs, North Carolina. When a series of decapitated female victims is found in neighboring communities, he is helplessly drawn in to the investigation to help bring the killer to justice. But in a bizarre twist of events, the psychopathic murderer becomes fascinated with Tucker and stalks him, presenting him with unimaginable, grotesque gifts. The hunt for the killer turns personal and Tucker is not sure if he’s become the killer’s idol or his next victim. Vengeance is Mine, a gripping thriller with a healthy dose of droll humor, is a tale of sadistic revenge guaranteed to keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very last page.
Another ten minutes passed before I answered the call that would change the entire investigation–for me.
“Crime tip hotline,” I said.
“Is this Benjamin Tucker?” It was a male voice.
“Yes, it is. I need to tell you that this call is being recorded.”
“I was expecting it would be. May I call you Ben?”
“Yes, how can I help you?”
“I’m the man you’re looking for. I’m Jack Plum.”I rolled my eyes. “I’m sorry if I sound skeptical, but you’re the third person today to make that claim. Can you give me information or some detail that will confirm you are, in fact, whom you claim to be?”
His next words made my blood run cold. “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”
I jumped out of my chair, snapped my fingers twice, and pointed to the phone. The dispatcher understood, nodded, and immediately dialed someone to begin a trace of the call.
I took a deep breath. “You have my attention,” I said.
“Is this call being traced?”“No. All calls are anonymous unless requested otherwise.”
“You’re lying to me, Ben. But it doesn’t matter. I saw you on TV the other night, and I knew when I saw you that the two of us have a destiny.”
The dispatcher had patched into the call and was now listening. She gestured for me to keep Plum talking.
“How do you figure that?” I asked.
“You are the one to write my story. I read your book and it was … inspirational. I knew you were the one. I researched you, and now I know everything about you…and that rich wife of yours. She’s very beautiful … so is Sally Briggum.” The statement scared the hell out of me.
“Let’s leave them out of this,” I said. “Why is it you’ve taken the lives of two women?”“In due time, Ben. In due time.”
“Will you surrender to authorities? I can make arrangements so you’ll be safe.”
The caller laughed softly. “Please. Don’t insult my intelligence. Besides, I’m not through yet. I’ve only just begun. I can’t tell you how much I’ve been invigorated since finding you.”
“Please don’t hurt anyone else. Maybe we can meet–just the two of us. We can talk–figure things out.”
The dispatcher was violently shaking her head, as if saying, “No! Are you freaking crazy?”
“We will meet, Ben … someday.” He paused. “I have a gift for you … a very special gift. I’m looking at it right now.”
I became nauseous. “What is it?” I asked. There was no reply. The dispatcher motioned for me to keep him talking.
“Jack?” I asked. “Talk to me. Hello? Jack? Are you there?” I put the system on mute, and turned to the dispatcher.
“I don’t think he’s there anymore,” I said.
She looked at her control console. “The line’s still connected so try and get him to talk.”
“Jack? Let me know what you want. I can get you some help. Jack? Are you there? Hello?”
The dispatcher jumped up and I muted the system again. “We have it!” she said. “237 West Bradford–about three miles from here!”
Ice ran through my veins, and I tore the headset off as I instantly recognized my former address. I collapsed in my seat with my face in my hands.
“Oh good Christ!” I cried. “Amanda Jane!”
About the Author:
Harry James Krebs was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. After receiving his BA in applied physics from Aurora University in Illinois, Harry spent thirty-seven years with United States Department of Energy Contractors as a senior mechanical engineer. He designed, built, maintained, and operated large experimental detectors for high-energy physics experiments at national laboratories such as the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, the Superconducting Super Collider, and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford University. Krebs always wanted to write mystery novels, but his engineering career left him little time to write until now. The author and his wife currently live in Raleigh, North Carolina with their Chihuahua, Lucille.
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